It isn’t hard to make the case for greater institutional investment in infrastructure. Apart from the worthy aim of creating jobs and wealth, it also provides uncorrelated returns compared with the JSE and the sovereign bond market. Some projects, such as renewable energy, can provide a predictable income stream through their dividends; others, such as schools, are still the preserve of ultra-long-term investors such as life offices that can wait for a decade or more before they get cash back.

But there are practical obstacles to investing in infrastructure for the majority of pension funds, which are defined contribution funds with daily priced accounts. These funds give members the choice of switching portfolios at a day’s notice...

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